3. Van Gaal still learning about the Premier League
After the game against Leicester City, Van Gaal was quick to play down the fact that his defence lacked the brawn to cope with a strong, physical and pacy side. After Monday night’s game against the Baggies, the Dutchman was honest enough to admit that his side lacked “the right physical balance in the team”. For the first time, it was an admission that for all the quality going forward, the current crop at United can be physically bullied at times.
While that isn’t a particularly good thing if you are a Manchester United fan, the fact that the manager realises that it is an issue is certainly a positive. His decision to bring on Fellaini was a testament to that. The Belgian hasn’t endured the best of times at United, but he had the manager’s complete backing when he went on and delivered the goods. Fellaini scored the equaliser and made a nuisance of himself in the Baggies box and added another dimension to United’s play. At times last season, it looked as though the Red Devils were reluctant to throw on the big Belgian and lump the ball forward, but the fact that Van Gaal looks at it as a option going forward shows that the Dutchman is learning about the league all the time.